Web Accessibility (a11y) Universal Design @ UTMB Health

As a place of healing, health education and scientific discovery, the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB Health) has a responsibility to ensure that the content it offers online can be accessed by all users.

Web Accessibility = Universal Design

UTMB is committed to provide online digital information in a fashion that meets the needs of interested individuals without regard to physical or technical limitations. 

The university’s work to foster web accessibility is guided by standards defined by the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Accessibility Initiative and governed by applicable federal and state laws. Developing web and other digital content with accessibility in mind is the right thing to do and legally required. The work complements other initiatives in place at UTMB Health that support mandates of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

This web site is designed to explain the standards and show how to evaluate content. It also features tools to walk developers through recommended approaches and best practices to ensure web accessibility.

What is Web Accessibility? (a11y)

Technology is deemed to be "accessible" if it can be used as effectively by people with disabilities as by those without.

Web accessibility is the approach and practice of designing our web content, services, and online brand with accessible, universal access in mind.

Regardless of impairment, the web can and should be accessible by all. Everyone should be able to comprehend, navigate, interact with, and contribute to the web. Designing for web accessibility takes an empathetic approach to help level the playing field by ensuring our online content is available and usable for all.

Accessibility is abbreviated as the numeronym a11y,
where 11 refers to the number of letters omitted.

Who is Affected?

Some recent statistics illustrate the types of disabilities to both consider and target when designing and testing the accessibility of our web-based content and services.

  • Approx. 1-in-5 people
    have a disability
  • 7% Ambulatory
  • 5.1% Cognitive
  • 3.5% Hearing
  • 2.3% visual

Web Component Accessibility

Here are some of the major web components affected by web accessibility needs. As a bonus, addressing these components of a web application also help to dramatically improve organic SEO.

  • Content Hierarchy (Document Model)
  • Semantic HTML Elements
  • Navigation Menus
  • Hyperlinks
  • Forms & Validation
  • Media (Videos, Images, Audio)
  • Font & Page Magnification
  • Color Usage / Contrast
  • Custom Widgets / Controls
  • Usable without Styles or Scripts

Design, Tools & Training